Saturday, February 29, 2020

Slow and Fast Stitching This Week

I like to have a variety of projects to work on at any one time so that I don't get bored (no chance of that for a very long time, if not ever!) so this week, as usual, I have a few things to show you.   First up is my fall themed comfort quilt block for the Elgin Piecemakers guild.  I have had that leaf fabric lurking in my stash for several years and it worked perfectly for this block.  (I even have some left...)

I have been cleaning out my fabric storage area and keep finding blocks and fabric that I forgot I had. Does this ever happen to you?  I made these boxy star blocks 7 years ago, intending to make a quilt for a special person in my life.  Unfortunately, she passed away very soon after I made the blocks so they got put away until this past week when I found them.  I decided to make them into a table topper.   I still have to figure out how I will quilt this so for now, it will sit in the to be quilted pile.

I found a jelly roll, partly cut up, in another bag, obviously intending to make it into something, but of course, there was no pattern or sketch in the bag.  I made lots of nine patches and will put them together to make a baby quilt, probably.  The white in all the blocks came out of my solid scrap bin--I did not have to cut into yardage at all.  

There were a couple of other projects started but never finished and they went into the garbage as they no longer inspired me.  I kept the useful fabric I found in those bags and gave some fat quarters to a friend who uses those particular colours in many of her quilts.  I still have a few bins and a closet to clean out but the storage room is looking much better.  This is a long term project!

The quilting was completed on my Kaffe Fassett spinning four patch quilt this week and I added the binding by machine on Monday.  I found just enough of the gray fabric that was in the quilt for the binding.

On Tuesday morning, while waiting for my car to be serviced, I went to Christine's house, drank tea, and we both worked on the hand stitching on our respective quilts.  We were closely supervised by Henry, Bowie and Chanel, the resident cats.  This is Henry.

I used up almost all of the fabric I used for the backing as well.  I am trying to use up my stash...

Henry spent some time guarding my sewing bag.

Here is the finished quilt.  I used my DSM to quilt wavy lines in a diagonal grid.

I will be putting this quilt into the Shedden Quilt show in April and then it will hang on the wall in my front hall for a while.

My counted cross stitch ornament for February did not get much attention this week, but some stitches were added.  I would like to work on this again tomorrow for Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Modern Quilt Guild Mini Swap

Last year, I attended QuiltCon in Nashville, TN with my friend, Christine.  I participated in the Make a Mini, Make a Friend Swap and my swap partner and I met at QuiltCon when we exchanged our mini quilts.  Evie made me the star quilt and I made the drunkard's path variation for her--I called it Maple Keys from Canada.

This year, I did not attend QuiltCon in Austin, TX, so I decided to sign up to swap a mini quilt with another quilter by mail.  I received my quilt from my partner, Ann, in Texas a few weeks ago.  I had told her that I liked Frank Lloyd Wright and orange when I filled out my swap form.  I think she nailed it!

Ann motioned she liked quilt designer/teacher Sarah Bond.  I had never heard of Sarah Bond before and set about doing some research to find out more information so that I could make a suitable mini quilt for Ann.  Sarah had done a webinar for the Modern Quilt Guild so I watched that and also googled images of her quilts.  I noticed three common themes in many of Sarah's quilts that I saw online...1.  Flying geese  2.  Curves and  3. Creative use of Striped fabric. I dug around in my stash and found some Kaffe Fasset fabric and a dark gray Essex Linen to use as a background. 

I don't usually design quilts on paper first, but I did this time.  I took a 24" by 24" square of paper and folded it in half diagonally and then folded it some more.  I used a piece of string and a pencil to create the arcs and then filled in the lines for the flying geese.  I used each of the flying geese arcs as a template to paper piece the flying geese. 

Here is the first arc. 

I used the quarter circle in the corner and the plain arcs as patterns for cutting out the background pieces. 

A little curved piecing and I was on my way!

The second and third arcs were completed and added to the quilt top. 

I used some turquoise and gray 28 wt thread for the quilting. 

The quilted arcs are blue and the quilting in the flying geese was done with gray thread. 

Some striped binding finished my mini off nicely. 

I used the leftover Kaffe fabric on the back. 

Here is the finished mini quilt. Ann has received it in the mail and loved it!

I would definitely participate in the Modern Swap again!  Maybe, next year, I will get to meet my swap partner in person at QuiltCon...

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Several Finishes this Week

This has been a week of finishes.  I finished the binding on the three table runners I quilted last Saturday.  My MIL has claimed this one.  It will look nice in her living room.  

The second runner will be given to a friend.

The third one will be donated to the church bazaar.

Next, I quilted and bound the baby quilt I showed last week.  I used some light green solid fabric for the binding.

The backing is some flannel I had in my stash.  I had to make it a bit wider so the orange stripe was added.  I will add a label soon, before I put this quilt away.

I used a combination of wavy and straight lines for the quilting which I did on my DSM.

At my knitting lesson this week, I learned how to do ribbing.  I am creating a sampler of the different knitting patterns I am learning...  Red does not photograph well.

I used Sarah's advice on how to finish off my embroidery project.  She suggested I do a running stitch to cinch in the extra fabric at the back of the hoop and then cover it with a piece of felt.

I hand stitched the felt into place.  I did not want to use glue.

This is now hanging on the wall in my sewing room.

I did a bit of cross stitch on the Linen and Threads February ornament this week. More stitches will be added tomorrow.

My daughter has been really busy at work but had a bit of time this week to finish outlining the first feather on her cross stitch.  Finn likes to help.

Today, I quilted my spinning 4 patch project and I am now in search of appropriate fabric in my stash for the binding.  I have a quilt guild meeting this coming week so I will have lots of show and tell.

I made a springtime pillow case for a friend this week too.  I did a lot of sewing this week!

I will be linking up with Kathy and the Gang of Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.  Take a look and see what kind of shenanigans everyone is up to this week.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Cross Stitch, a Knitting Lesson and Some Binding

First things first...I found the hoop for my embroidery project!  I had put it somewhere for "safe-keeping" and then had forgotten where that was...until this week, when I was doing some fabric cutting and I looked up...My hoop was on the shelf at eye level.

Now, I can get my embroidery framed and hanging on the wall.  I wondered if anyone has any ideas for finishing the back of the you cut off all the excess fabric and leave it that way or do you cover up the back?  I put a piece of white material behind the embroidery as the fabric that came with the kit is a bit thin.  Just leave a comment if you have some ideas for this. 

I finished off the Linens and Thread January cross stitch ornament this week.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with these yet so I am just going to store them for a while.  I have the pattern and Aida cloth ready for the February pattern.  I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with the same colour scheme or not.

My friend, Pat, came over and gave me my first knitting lesson this week. She brought over some needles for me to use and I found a bin of yarn in the basement which I had used for crafts back in the day.  We decided this lovely red yarn would be perfect for practicing.  I must have purchased this when I was a teenager at the Zellers store near where I grew up.  Check out the bargain price--regular $1.29 but I bought it on sale for 75 cents!  I sent a message out to my family members, offering homemade red scarves to all of them but I did not have any takers!

Pat taught me how to cast on and how to knit and pearl.  I am trying to do a bit of knitting everyday so that I can get better at this.  I did some knitting when I was 8 --I set out to make myself a yellow scarf--I'm pretty sure it was never finished.  I did remember how to do the knit part but had never done the pearl before.  I am getting faster and my tension is getting more even as I go along. The tension was a bit uneven at first, as you can see above. I think I will practice some more before I tackle a real project!

If you read my previous post, you will see that I have been working on a baby quilt this past week--not for any baby in particular...I just like to have a baby quilt or two on hand in case I need a gift in a hurry. I decided that 20 blocks made a nice sized baby quilt so I have put the blocks together.  I have my backing picked out and just need to get the batting pieced before I can quilt it.

The Elgin Piecemakers had a sewing day today.  I spent a couple of hours cleaning out my sewing storage room yesterday and found some old UFO's.  I had participated in a row robin years ago and had never put my quilt together.  I had put the rows aside and found them in a pile so I decided to bring them to the sewing day and make them into table runners.  My row was the one shown above.  The batik with the circles on it was one piece of fabric.   I added the binding to each runner as soon as I finished the quilting.

I now have three runners quilted and binding machine sewn on, ready for hand stitching tomorrow for slow Sunday stitching.  These will likely be donated to the church Christmas bazaar.  I am just glad to have them just about finished and off of my UFO list.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Vice-President's Day at the Oxford Guild

This past Saturday was the annual VP day at the Oxford Quilter's Guild and I arrived bright and early with all of my fabrics cut and ready to sew for the morning.  There were about 20 people at the event and many were working on the challenge quilt.

Pretty soon, I had one block done.

The plan is to make 30 blocks for a baby quilt in waiting--no baby in mind.  I like to have a baby quilt or two on hand in case I need one in a hurry as a gift.

Stripes are fun!

So are the zigzags!

By the time lunch time arrived, I had 5 blocks finished.

I had to leave before lunch as I had a Modern Guild meeting in the afternoon.  On Monday, I sewed 9 more blocks.

14 done in total by the end of the day Monday.

Yesterday and today, I am working on the last 4 houses for "Coming Home" and using the baby quilt blocks as leaders and enders.

All of the houses are done now and I will be working on getting the doors and windows ready to appliqué next.  There will be more pictures of the houses when I do my post for Slow Sunday Stitching on the weekend.